WordPress 5.8, released last Tuesday, brings a variety of enhancements to the block editing experience and introduces Global Styles and Global Settings APIs.
Blocks have transformed the way pages and posts are built. WordPress 5.8 extends the power of blocks to put even more control in the hands of site owners.
- The new Block Widgets Editor and Customizer provide more content design options by empowering site owners to add blocks in widget areas and with live preview through the Customizer.
- A new Query Loop Block makes it possible to display posts based on specified parameters, like posts from a specific category.
- When using a WordPress theme that has opted into the feature, the block editor can now be used to edit theme page and post templates.
Solutions were also introduced to make complex content easier to manage and navigate. The new block List View menu lists all of the blocks used in a page layout so that content creators can navigate quickly to the exact block they need. The Pattern Transformations tool will suggest block patterns based on the block being used. 5.8 also introduces support for smaller, faster loading WebP images and duotone image filters.
The Global Styles and Global Settings APIs theme.json file offers developers the ability to enable or disable features and set default styles globally or on a per block basis. Block support flags, introduced in WordPress 5.6 and 5.7, have been stabilized and expanded upon to add new block support flags — like adding duotone support for images — and new options to customize registered blocks.
Eight 10uppers helped make this release possible, including myself who acted as Release Co-Coordinator and Helen Hou-Sandí who was recognized as a Noteworthy Contributor. Thank you for helping make WordPress: Alejandro Perez, Clayton Collie, Fabian Kaegy, Felipe Elia, Ramon Ahnert, and Ryan Welcher.